September 4, 1999
NEW YORK CITY
Q. What was going through your mind after you hit that great overhead to make it 5-3 in the third set?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, at the moment I knew I could win, 5-3 up, when I was serving. I think that was -- I think I was too close to win. I was a little bit scared, I think. I think it's also the experience. She has more experience than I have. I learned a new lesson out of this match, so yeah.
Q. Is that one of the best matches you've ever played?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, probably it is. I didn't think my best level like through all the match, like ups-and-downs. But, yeah. In Wimbledon I played good, as well. I'm satisfied.
Q. Did playing Steffi Graf at the fourth round in Wimbledon, did that help you get prepared?
KIM CLIJSTERS: That was a good lesson for me, especially the first time when I played her on a big court, Court No. 1 in Wimbledon, against a seeded player. Yeah, that was an experience for me. I came on the court there.
Q. Were you intimidated at all playing a seed?
KIM CLIJSTERS: No, not this time. The first time, like Steffi Graf, she's like a bigger star than Serena. No, I was not really.
Q. How old were you when you first started to play tennis?
KIM CLIJSTERS: I was five.
Q. How did you happen to get into the game?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Because of my cousins. They started with tennis. That's where I started to put the balls up on my racquet, yeah.
Q. When you were serving at 5-3, I got the feeling you were rushing. You didn't seem to take much time.
KIM CLIJSTERS: I'm always rushing (laughter).
Q. That's the way you play?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah.
Q. Do you think you might take it a little slower next time?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Probably I will, yeah.
Q. Do you feel like at that point it was something that you were doing or was it something that Serena was doing that led to what happened? I think she got 16 of the next 17 points.
KIM CLIJSTERS: She returned good. She played two very good games there. My serve, I had to put more first serves in at 5-3. At 5-4, yeah, she had these two aces. Yeah, she served good like the third serve, it was not bad. I couldn't do anything about that game. On my serve, I should have put more serves in, definitely.
Q. Were you nervous at the end when you were serving?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Not really. I was not really nervous, no. I was like, I think, more like pushing myself, I think. "Okay, now you have to do it." Maybe it was a little bit of pressure on me, putting on myself. I shouldn't have done that, I think.
Q. You're not going to play in the junior competition here next week, are you?
KIM CLIJSTERS: No, I'm not.
Q. That ball that you thought was long, you let it go, replay shows it on the line, is that a mistake, next time you won't let it go?
KIM CLIJSTERS: No. Next time I will hit it for sure. There were a couple wrong calls during the match for both of us. Yeah, that was a mistake.
Q. Did you have a plan for this match, how you would play it?
KIM CLIJSTERS: I was just going to play my own game. I think that was the only way. I'm not such a player to play slice and all this stuff, to change my game. I was just like playing my game.
Q. What have you learned from this match?
KIM CLIJSTERS: A lot. Yeah, it's experience for me. I'm close. Against Coetzer, she was also Top 10, so I feel like I'm close to Serena also. I'm close to them. Yeah, that's a good lesson for me.
Q. Have you had a timetable that you wanted to fulfill in becoming a champion of these Grand Slam events? Do you have anything like that?
KIM CLIJSTERS: No, not really.
Q. A goal that you want to realize within a certain period?
KIM CLIJSTERS: No. I like to see it match per match. I think -- for me, that's the way I have to keep on playing. There will be ups-and-downs in the career. You have to go through them.
Q. Is there a specific aspect of your game that you want to improve on the most?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Probably now I will work on -- harder on my serve, keep more serves in in the critical moments. I think for the rest, I played quite a good match today. Of course, I always can improve. I'm not saying that I'm not going to work on anything else anymore, of course. Yeah, like serves and then physical training, all this stuff.
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